Stephen Boss, better known as DJ tWitch of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, who also was a contestant-turned-judge on So You Think You Can Dance, died Tuesday in a Los Angeles hotel room, reportedly by suicide. He was 40.
His death was confirmed by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner. The office did not state a cause.
In a statement, Boss’ wife, dancer Allison Holker Boss, confirmed his death, saying, “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us. Stephen lit up every room he stepped into. He valued family, friends and community above all else and leading with love and light was everything to him. He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans.
“To say he left a legacy,” she continued, “would be an understatement, and his positive impact will continue to be felt. I am certain there won’t be a day that goes by that we won’t honor his memory. We ask for privacy during this difficult time for myself and especially for our three children. Stephen, we love you, we miss you, and I will always save the last dance for you.”
TMZ and other news outlets are reporting that Boss died by a self-inflicted gunshot.
Boss, a dancer, choreographer and DJ, joined the Ellen show in 2014 and stayed until DeGeneres ended the talk show in 2022. Boss was made an executive producer in 2020.
Last May, as the show was coming to an end, a tearful DeGeneres surprised the DJ with a special film tribute. “Over a decade ago I met someone who changed my life and our show,” the host said. “I’m talking about you tWitch…I love you so much.”
Watch the tribute below.
Prior to his work with DeGeneres, Boss appeared on So You Think You Can Dance, where he placed as a runner-up in 2008. He served as a judge on the show in 2018 and 2022.
Born Stephen Laurel Boss in Alabama, tWitch studied dance at at Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, Alabama, and Chapman University, and in 2003 was a semifinalist on MTV’s The Wade Robson Project and a runner-up on the television talent competition Star Search.
He had two small dancing roles in the 2007 films Blades of Glory and Hairspray, and the following year competed on So You Think You Can Dance; he would return to that series as a guest and all-star frequently. In 2013, he performed on Dancing with the Stars, and in 2014 began his association with DeGeneres as a guest DJ on her show. That year he also was cast in Magic Mike XXL.
In 2017, he and wife Allison Holker hosted the documentary series Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.
Just three days ago, Holker posted photos of the couple’s wedding, writing, “It’s our 9th anniversary!! I couldn’t be more grateful to celebrate this perfect magical day!!! Saying YES to @sir_twitch_alot has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life!! I feel so blessed and loved!! I love you baby and I will never take you or OUR love for granted! I LOVE YOU”
In addition to his wife, Boss is survived by two daughters and a son.
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